COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, June 11, 2020 – GFL Environmental (GFL), formerly Bestway Disposal, has welcomed the addition of Southern Colorado’s first artificial intelligence-powered recycling robotic system. The AMP Robot has been added to GFL’s single stream Material Recovery Facility (MRF), creating a new commodity – cartons.
Developed by Colorado-based AMP Robotics, the system learns over time what materials it needs to pick, sort and place for carton recycling.
The system’s eye can view, recognize and learn over time the various colors, textures, shapes, sizes and patterns of food and beverage cartons in the recycling stream while the robot’s arm picks, sorts and places the cartons for recycling. The robot has a pick rate of 80 items per minute—nearly double the average pick rate of a human—which boosts the efficiency of GFL’s recycling program.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our community to more efficiently and effectively sort materials that previously could have ended up in our landfills,” said Judd Staton, general manager of GFL Colorado Springs.
“As always, education is key for improving the quality of our recyclables. However, making recycling easier on our customers is another invaluable asset that allows for this new commodity to be carried through a full recycling journey. With the addition of cartons in our program, these materials can then be recycled and repurposed to create materials like toilet paper, paper towels and tissues – all things that our community desperately needs right now. It’s pretty incredible.”
Installation of the robot was made possible through a grant from the Carton Council of North America, a consortium of carton manufacturers dedicated to improving and expanding carton recycling. By helping recycling facilities capture food and beverage cartons more efficiently, the council hopes it will encourage more facilities and the communities they serve to promote cartons as a recyclable packaging that consumers should recycle through their local programs.
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